The sailors couldn’t turn the ship into the wind, so they gave up and let it run before the gale. (Acts 27:15)
Relate: From what I’ve read, a ship traveling under sail in Paul’s day should be able to travel at a speed of about 4-4.5 knots, or as much as six if the winds are favorable. That means the journey to Rome should have taken a couple weeks, maybe a month tops if they were planning to stop at multiple ports along the way. (27:2) Instead it became an epic sea voyage worthy of top billing at your nearest Imax ciniplex. This was a Murphy’s Law type of trip, if it could go wrong, it did. Case in point:
27:4 – The plan was to head west after leaving Sidon. Since the winds were against them, they were forced north instead.
27:5 – The winds wouldn’t let up so the ship didn’t dare navigating into ports at Cilicia or Pamphylia.
27:6 – At Myra, they had to change ships. Apparently the first captain decided he didn’t want to go where they were headed.
27:7 – It took several days to go a journey of a couple hours to get to Cnidus. Since going north didn’t work, this time they tried heading south, shooting around the Cape of Salmone in Crete.
27:8 – They limped along finally stopping at Fair Havens. Apparently it didn’t live up to its billing. Paul recommended they stop for the winter, the captain didn’t listen and headed out for a better harbor just a few miles away.
27:14 – Phoenix ended up being an impossible target. A major storm caught them by surprise and forced them even farther south.
27:16 – The small island of Cauda had no place to dock, but it did shelter enough of the storm for enough time that they were able to prepare the ship to survive the storm… or so they thought.
27:17 – At this point they had been forced so far south they were afraid of being forced into the sandbars off the coast of Africa. So they dropped their anchors to slow their speed as they rode out the storm.
27:18 – Winds now fought against anchor. They began throwing stuff overboard.
27:19 – Even important stuff.
27:20 – The storm overshadowed the sun, moon and stars. They had no idea where they were and gave up any hope of navigation or even survival.
27… – The rest of the story is for tomorrow.
React: The Romans thought they were in control. They thought they had conquered the world. But they couldn’t even successfully navigate a short jaunt across their own sea. They refused to listen to advice, insisting they can do it their own way. Sounds like I would fit right in with them. It is so easy to try to do things my own way. But if my way contradicts God’s will it seems like one storm after another just keeps me from getting anywhere. Perhaps its time I give up trying to do it my own way and let Him take control.
God, I give You control once again. Well, in reality You’ve had it all the time, but I’m tired of my illusions of control. I’m tired of my illusions that I can ever accomplish anything of significance on my own. I need You. Help me to get out of the way. Rather than trying to fight You, help me to follow.